09.08.2017 - UNESCO Office for Iraq

EU and UNESCO reinforce national capacities in sustainable groundwater management

The Iraqi geologists, hydrogeologists and engineers in the training courses on advanced methods in GIS-aided surveying and groundwater monitoring

Amman, Jordan, July 22-27, 2017-The European Union and UNESCO held four training courses on advanced methods in GIS-aided surveying and groundwater monitoring under the EU-funded project entitled “Advanced Hydro-geological Survey of Groundwater Resources in Iraq - Phase II (ASHRI-2)”. The courses aimed at upgrading the capacity of the Iraqi geologists, hydrogeologists and engineers on best practices in sustainable groundwater management.

Building upon UNESCO's long experience and studies in the field of drought and water resources' management in Iraq, ASHRI-2 crucially addresses water shortage and scarcity, and its dangerous outcome on socio-economic and cultural development, health, environment and eco-systems.

Since its launch in November 2013, ASHRI-2 has delivered critical data, information and knowledge management tools required for sound management of groundwater resources in Iraq and deployed state-of-the-art methodologies and techniques in geo-scientific mapping of groundwater resources, and IT-based database management, forming important outcomes. A total of 37 participants of the Ministry of Water Resources in Baghdad and KRG's Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources, represented almost all governorates of Iraq.

The GIS training comprised Applications of ASHRI-2 and SWLRI Geo Databases, ii. Implementing and Managing Hydrogeological Cartography Interpretation of the Aquifer Recharge Maps, and iii. GIS Applications of ASHRI-2 Database and Portal. The monitoring training focused on “Well Design and Scientific Groundwater Data Collection (groundwater monitoring) Drilling Handbook”.

In his opening notes, Dr.rer.nat. Lück, the project manager of ASHRI-2, indicated the importance of these training courses for Iraqi water sector experts, notably  being introduced to shifting from old practices to new international standards and methods. Through ASHRI-2, water sector authorities have been provided an advanced knowledge base on the national groundwater resources; besides, ASHRI-2 offers guidance to the government in moving forward giving recommendations towards the development of capabilities in the sustainable management of limited water resources.


Through an EU contribution of five million Euros "ASHRI-2" has validated and updated essential data and information on Iraq’s groundwater resources, improving the governments' management competence in this field. Towards the end of ASHRI-2, UNESCO Office for Iraq aims to harness a more developed knowledge base on groundwater resources, and to provide evidence based policy guidance and recommendations to the Government.

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